BC Ferries has announced it will be reducing service and closing the Pacific Buffet to prevent the spread of illness. (Black Press Media file photo)

BC Ferries cuts back service, closes Pacific Buffet to avoid spread of illness

Sailings to still run on odd hours as usual

BC Ferries is reducing the number of sailings between Vancouver and Victoria and closing the Pacific Buffet in an effort to halt the spread of COVID-19.

On March 14, the ferry company announced that it would be cutting back service on the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route for March 15 and 16.

READ ALSO: Self-isolation on lower decks due to COVID-19 prohibited, says B.C. Ferries CEO

The reduction in sailings is a result of a recent downturn in the number of passengers using the ferries as more people are opting to self-quarantine, a BC Ferries spokesperson said on Saturday afternoon. The ferries will still operate on all the odd hours as usual.

On March 15, cancelled sailings departing Swartz Bay include the noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. sailings. The same times are also cancelled for sailings departing Tsawwassen.

For March 16, the noon sailing departing Swartz Bay is cancelled and the 2 p.m. departing Tsawwassen is cancelled.

READ ALSO: Strong winds hit South Island leaving almost 6,000 without power

BC Ferries has also temporarily closed the Pacific Buffet – typically available on the Spirit of Vancouver Island, the Spirit of British Columbia and the Coastal Celebration vessels – upon advice from health officials.

Customers with reservations on cancelled sailings will receive emails explaining the situation and either be accommodated on another sailing or offered a refund.

Passengers are invited to keep up to date on the current conditions of scheduled sailings by following @BCFerries on Twitter, visiting the website or calling 1-888-223-3779.


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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